I have never played guitar. But I have listened to as much of it as any man my age, or at least any non-Guitar Center employee my age.
The common thread: just about everyone on this list has a totally recognizable, distinct sound. While all of them are incredibly talented, I am less biased towards technical virtuosity than uniqueness and feel (though I grew up on virtuoso hard rock guitarists, to be sure). Have uploaded a few videos (an insanely easy task on Ranker, thanks Paul), and will continue to add more.While the majority of rocks's greatest guitarists came out of the classic rock era, it has been encouraging to see some new entries from recent years after a "guitar hero lull" in the 90s.Note that I am punishing some of my favorite guitar bands from sending representatives to this list - namely bands with 2 guitarists, particularly "dual leads" (except for Angus), though if the sum was equal to the parts bands like Maiden and Priest would be on here - at some point I will do an "addendum list" that adds guitar teams to the mix. It's the fair thing to do.